By Arun Kumaresan –
To identify Public officials in all sectors who acted as stooges to the Political authority
A week has gone since the Easter Sunday bombings, and to the credit of our intelligence agencies and security agencies, they have shown their professionalism in their ability to swiftly react and contain. But these ‘positives’ need not make us complacent as this gruesome incident had all the hallmarks of a preventable event. Our law enforcement’s and security agencies’ professionalism has been repeatedly compromised by the political authorities over decades. This resulted not only in anarchy and mayhem but also allowed criminals, drug mafia, murderers, etc to roam free after committing heinous crimes against populace. They also continue to aid and abet to reelect their political masters thro all dubious means. In this context, whilst all ambits of these flaws cannot be investigated due to the exhaustive nature of such flaws by our political authorities, at least, the following needs an urgent scrutiny by the legislature to stem this tide of ‘utter impunity’ by our political authority. As a reference point to facilitate the said PSC, following points are tabulated:
- Did Mr. Azath Salley (the present Governor WP) and All Ceylon Jammiyathul Ulama (ACJU) President Sheik M.I.M. Rizwi inform as far back as January 2014, the existence of a religious fundamentalist organization with documentary evidence to the then Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa ?
- What action was taken on Mr. Azath Salley’s information or whether both of their assertions are mere fabrication?
- The law enforcement attempted to stop a protest march in late 2014 in Panchikawatte/Maradana area, by this organization that carried out the Easter Sunday bombings. Who gave the instructions to allow this march to proceed?
- Did National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ) or any members of the said organization receive state patronage and funding to work as intelligence operatives and/or underworld political activists?
- Did Mr Azath Salley inform the Secretary Defence in January 2019 & then again recently in the presence of CID officials, the threatening nature of the said organization with credible information?
- Did All Ceylon Jammiyathul Ulama (ACJU) President Sheik M.I.M. Rizvi Mufthi, give details about the NTJ Leader Mohamed Zahran to the then Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando in January 2019 ( & to any other previous holders of the said office )?
- Did politically powerful interfere in the investigations into an ammo & explosive haul recently recovered that appeared to be connected to NTJ enabled the release of the suspects who were under custody?
- Did Indian Intelligence inform thrice with specific details such as names, targets etc?
What action was taken by those who received the said intelligence information?
Was this information brought to the notice of the National Security Council and if so who were the members present and what directions were given by the Council?
- Identify the reasons for counter action not being initiated and ascertain any hidden complicity that prevented such actions or was it due to mere utter lethargy?
- What was the delay in convening the National Security Council when summoned by Hon. Prime Minister immediately after this horrific incident?
- Who prevented the Hon. Prime Minister entering the meeting room of the NSC at the Ministry of Defence on that sad day this incident took place and who made him to wait for approximately 30 minutes? Identify the reasons behind such action?
- Who were involved in giving instructions that caused the delay in convening the NSC??
- Ascertain from the Secretary to the President and the Secretary of Defence the reasons for not inviting the Hon. Prime Minister and the State Minister of Defence
for a single meeting of the National Security Council held after October 2018; and
for a majority of meetings held between the periods 2015 to Oct 2018.
- Who were the SLFP MP’s and any other outsiders who were invited for the National Security Council meetings and who gave the State officers the authority to invite such persons?
The said Parliamentary Select Committee needs to hold its sessions in public. It should make recommendations for punitive actions against State officers who acted in contrary to established practices and for acting subservient to Political authority and also be made responsible for the offence of ‘manslaughter’.
May the Parliament Select Committee be telecasted ‘LIVE’; the public not only should know but also have a ‘Right to Know’.